Marketing’s digital transformation brought with it unprecedented growth, both in the scope of the function and in its spending power. New channels, new technologies, and new capabilities demanded new levels of investment. But the good times couldn’t last forever, and the pandemic ushered in a new, more austere era as budgets flatlined. This placed chief marketing officers (CMOs) under pressure to reduce spending on previously sacrosanct parts of their portfolio, such as marketing technology.
Marketing When Budgets Are Down
The general rule of enterprise finance is that marketing budgets drop like a stone at the first sign of trouble and rise like a feather once the environment is more settled. In mid-2023 we’re far from a settled state — projected GDP growth in western markets is depressingly flat, inflation is proving to be rather stubborn, and those disruptions just keep on coming. It’s tough to see a significant increase in marketing budgets in the near term. Gartner’s annual survey of hundreds of CMOs charts the evolution of marketing spending over recent history, offering guidance for how enterprise leaders can deliver results and build the capabilities to fuel growth in a time of less.